Press Release - ​​​​District Merchants Honorary Producers

District Merchants Opens on SCR's Julianne Argyros Stage Jointly Underwritten by Two Hightly Committed Couples

COSTA MESA, Calif. (​Oct. ​7, 201​6)—Two SCR board members and their spouses—Trustee Samuel & Tammy Tang and Trustee Talya Nevo-Hacohen & Bill Schenker—have joined together to help underwrite Aaron Posner’s District Merchants, which opened Friday night.

A riff on Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, District Merchants is directed by Michael Michetti, co-Artistic Director of Theatre @ Boston Court, in his first SCR outing. 

Appearing onstage to welcome First Nighters and their guests, Managing Director Paula Tomei talked about the new play and its playwright. “Aaron is no stranger to re-imagining the classics, as our audiences know from his exuberant version of The Tempest, which was a huge hit for us two years ago.  So we’re thrilled to have him back with this very inventive—and timely—new work.”

After giving a call-out to Founding Artistic Directors David Emmes and Martin Benson, Board President Alan Slutzky welcomed the new First Night subscribers to SCR’s family of First Nighters on the Julianne Argyros Stage.  Then he turned the mike over to Tomei to talk about the very special Honorary Producer couples, adding, “Their generous support is indicative of a very strong commitment to SCR and its artistry.”

Tomei agreed, saying, “It’s extremely gratifying when underwriters show so much interest in the plays they help produce.  Both couples read District Merchants before choosing to underwrite the production, and they have embraced all the Honorary Producer benefits, such as attending design presentations, table readings and technical rehearsals.”

"That’s what I call enthusiasm,” Slutzky said.  “Both couples are Platinum Circle members, Gala underwriters and First Nighters on both stages.  Please read further details about Sam and Tammy and Tayla and Bill—and their history with SCR—in your program.”

Finally, Slutzky encouraged everyone to enjoy the show and stay afterwards for the Cast Party on Ela’s Terrace.

Among the First Night subscribers and guests were:  Tom & Beth Phelps, Jim & Katie Loss, Jennifer Klein & Jene Witte, Karen & Bruce Clark, Robert & Brenda Currie, Sherry & John Phelan, David & Krista Browne, Nancy & Joe Fries, Robyn & Gregg Moss, Marc Berger & Tiffany Casler and Bart & Laurie Brown

ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio.